Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Yonsei Med J. 2001 Dec;42(6):669-80.

Anesthesia for fetal procedures and surgery.

Author information

  • 1Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care, Box 0648, University of California San Francisco, 513 Parnassus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94143-0648, USA.


Many of the anesthetic considerations for fetal procedures and surgery are identical to those for nonobstetric surgery during pregnancy, including concern for maternal safety, avoidance of both teratogenic drugs and fetal asphyxia, and the prevention of preterm labor and delivery. Anesthesia is required for the mother and quite often the fetus to perform many fetal procedures. Fetal procedures and surgery can be divided into subgroups according to their anesthetic requirements. For example: procedures that only require a needle insertion into the uterus but not into the fetus, such as intrauterine infusions; laser surgical photocoagulation of the communicating placental circulation for twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) and radio-frequency umbilical cord ablation for managing twin reversed arterial perfusion (TRAP), which are not really fetal procedures, rather they are placental or cord procedures; surgical procedures performed directly on the fetus; and the EX-utero Intrapartum Treatment (EXIT) procedure. Anesthetic considerations also depend on other factors, such as the location of the placenta. Unlike maternal surgery, for fetal procedures, the fetus is not an innocent bystander for whom the least anesthetic interference is used. Instead, the fetus can be the primary patient and may benefit from anesthesia, with close monitoring of the anesthetic effects to ensure well-being. Fetal asphyxia, hypoxia, or distress can be most effectively recognized, predicted, and avoided by fetal monitoring. Monitoring is also crucial for assessing the fetal response to corrective maneuvers.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Yonsei University College of Medicine
    Loading ...
    Support Center